In part one of the ways to prepare financially for a baby, I suggested stocking up on diapers, using coupons and avoiding trendy baby items. Here are three additional money-wise steps for your growing family.
- Buy used instead of new.
There are most likely consignment stores near you, and some may even specialize in baby items. I am fortunate to have a semi-annual consignment sale 45 minutes from me (850 sellers each time). Buying gently-used items has helped me afford to buy more of the items my children need (and want) within my budget. Often, you can find brand new items at these sales because parents (and family members) buy much more than they need for their children, and clothes often are outgrown before they're even worn.
- Start a baby fund
Questions like, “How much will this baby cost every month?” or “Where do we start to budget?” are daunting at first. To help you get your bearings, begin saving as soon as you find out you are expecting (just as you start purchasing diapers). I suggest opening an online, high-yield savings account that you keep separate and allow to grow.
If you start with $100 in the account and add $50 a month, after just eight months you would have $500 put away in a baby fund. This money can help you buy last-minute things once the baby arrives or help with diapers after your stockpile runs out, which will give you peace of mind during this exciting yet busy time.
- Create a plan now
Finally, take everything I have mentioned above and plan it out. If you currently have $150 excess, every month make it count. Perhaps begin by sending $100 of it to your “baby fund” savings account and the other $50 to buy diapers and wipes. You can also be on the lookout for sales on the registry items I mentioned above.
The bottom line is: the more you can plan and prepare, the better equipped and at peace you will feel when the time comes to welcome your baby.